China replaces 2 key ministers – Xinhua

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SHANGHAI: China’s finance minister, Lou Jiwei, was replaced on Monday in a switch of personnel at the top of the world’s second-largest economy.

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His successor is 59-year-old Xiao Jie, the deputy secretary-general of China’s State Council, the cabinet, according to the official Xinhua news agency. It did not give more details.

Lou, 65, has been the finance minister since March 2013, his official biography shows, presiding over a stock market boom encouraged by authorities, followed by a rout in the middle of last year.lou-jiwei20161108

China also announced Monday the replacement of state security minister Geng Huichang with Chen Wenqing, 56, who was previously at the ruling Communist party’s internal anti-corruption watchdog, Xinhua said.

The new finance minister, who is originally from the northeastern province of Liaoning, has spent nearly two decades at the finance ministry and headed, since 2007, the State Administration of Taxation.

Lou, who is also on the board of governors of the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, has been one of best-known names representing China’s economic voice, alongside central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan.

Last month he spoke out on behalf of the G20 against populist politicians playing up anti-globalization and anti-free trade sentiments, saying they were putting the world economy at risk.

AFP

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